Boys basketball repeats win over Hickman

Jackie Nichols

“20 in a row!”

Sophomore guard Nick Norton advances up the court Tuesday night against Hickman. JV won 50-34 and varsity defeated the Kewpies, 64-50. Photo by Shaun Gladney

The Bru-Crew shouted to their Hickman rivals as the clock on the varsity game dwindled down.
Tonight, Jan. 24 marked the 20th straight victory over the cross-town rival Kewpies. The 20 victories include a game both teams played back in December. Although tonight’s game gave the Kewpies (7-6) the home court advantage, the Bruins (11-2) were still able to clinch a 64-50 win.
“It is always crazy there, but we did a good job of keeping them pretty quiet,” guard sophomore Jackson Dubinski said. “Our crowd gave us energy to feed off of. I was comfortable out there. I love playing in [the Hickman] gym, practically everyone in the town comes to this game, and the atmosphere is great to play in.”
The Bruins lost the tip to start the game, but got a stop on defense in a matter of minutes. Sophomore guard Nick Norton scored the first points off a lay-up from a cross-court pass from senior Jordan Stevens.
Hickman, however, continued to have an answer for every  Bruins score, and the game stayed tied 12-12 going into the second quarter.
The score went back and forth the rest of the first half until the Kewpies pulled ahead 26-24 with barely a minute left in the half. Stevens, determined to let the Bruins have the last shot, dished in a lay-up under the basket with seconds remaining in the half. Protecting the basket, Rock Bridge fouled in the remaining seconds, keeping the lead 28-27.
After a water break and pep-talk at halftime from head coach Jim Scanlon, the Bruins came out ready to play. They pushed the ball, and with 4:56 remaining in the third quarter the Kewpies had tied it once again at 34.
“The mindset going into this game was that we weren’t going to lose,” senior Austin Ray said. “This was our game, our town, and we would do whatever it took to win.”
As the minutes wound down in the third quarter the Bruins started to pull away. They went up by five, the largest lead of the game, until the Kewpies scored on a fast lay-up in transition and cut it to three. Bruins held onto their small lead going into the fourth.
Stevens, the standout guard of the night, stretched the lead to seven with 5:04 remaining in the game from a contested dunk. The Kewpies did not have an answer after trapping Norton at half court and forcing the Bruins to call a time out. Stevens jumped in front of a pass stealing the ball and running down court for yet another dunk creating the largest lead of the game at nine with a little more than a minute remaining. Although the Bruins are still missing key players, including junior guard Travis Jorgenson, because of injuries, they were pleased with the game’s strong finish, 64-50.
“It is very encouraging seeing what we’ve done without Travis, seeing the productivity we’ve had with players stepping up big time,” Ray said. “When we get him back it’ll make us that much better.”